[r51] Dodge Report (3/9/2007)

Friday, March 9, 2007

Start Date: 3/9/2007 All Day
End Date: 3/9/2007

We have now reached the midway point of this session. The bills that passed through the House are being sent across the hall to the Senate and vice versa. Now that our bills are being deliberated by the Senate, there are a few bills that I am keeping my eye on.

House Bill 1471, which I approved when it was heard in the Veterans Affairs and Public Safety Committee, passed the House with a vote of 94-1. This bill focuses on providing insurance and health care to the survivors of public safety officers. These brave men and women lost their lives while protecting our safety, and providing health care coverage to their families is the least we can do.

Another health care issue I worked on was House Bill 1083 (HB 1083). House Republicans had promised to promote better health care for Hoosiers. HB 1083 provides tax incentives to small businesses for offering health care benefits to their employees. Health care cost are increasing at astronomical rates and HB 1083 will encourage more business to offer health care coverage. HB 1083 has a dual benefit, promoting economic development and better health care coverage within the Hoosier state.

In addition to watching out for health care, I am tracking House Bill 1835. This bill would authorize horse tracks to have up to 2,500 slot machines each. The revenue earned will be distributed through revenue sharing to all the Indiana counties that do not have a casino or race track. Slot machines have been a heavily debated topic in northeastern Indiana. I want to encourage all of you to contact me with your opinion on the subject so I can make sure the views of Distinct 51 are represented.

Another bill that we should all keep our eye on centers around Hoosier media tax incentives. We can all remember the excitement of knowing that movies such as "Hoosiers" and "A League of Their Own" were being filmed in and featured Indiana. To increase the appeal of media productions in Indiana, House Bill 1388 will provide a tax rebate for expenses occurred in the state and for property that is acquired for use in a motion picture. These incentives will help bring more film sets to our state.

I encourage you to watch the progress of the legislature as we move past the haft way point. You can watch all of the Senate and House actions over Internet by going to www.in.gov/legislative/session/video.html.

As always, I look forward to hearing any of your questions or concerns. Please feel free to contact me at 1-800-382-9841 or e-mail me at h51@in.gov.